Scotland is the UK’s biggest TV-watching nation, with people watching an average of three hours a day, according to a new Ofcom report.
But the number of viewers tuning in to watch broadcast television each week has seen the sharpest fall since records began.
Netflix is Scotland’s most used streaming service, but free-to-view services are still used by 90% of Scotland’s adults and teens, the media watchdog found.
Glenn Preston, Ofcom’s Scotland director, said: “While this year has seen the steepest annual decline in daily broadcast viewing time, Scotland continues to be the UK’s biggest TV-watching nation.
“Like TV, we are also seeing a streaming revolution in the listening space, with listeners now having a myriad of choice between online music services and podcasts.
“But 100 years since the BBC first broadcast to listeners in Scotland from the attic of its 202 Bath Street base in Glasgow, traditional radio continues to be a much-loved platform for audiences across Scotland.”
As competition for the nation’s attention intensifies between public service broadcasters and streamers, the proportion of people watching traditional TV each week has declined from 83% in 2021 to 79% in 2022, Ofcom research said.
Similarly, Ofcom said the average time spent watching broadcast television per person per day fell from two hours 59 minutes in 2021 to two hours 38 minutes the following year.
However, according to the Ofcom Media Nations 2023 report, public service broadcasters (PSB’s) still dominate the UK’s most-watched list with valued national TV moments.
Despite the continuing decline of traditional broadcast TV viewing, BBC One and ITV1 are still the top two first destinations for viewers when they turn on their TV, with Netflix placing third.
The research suggests viewers recognise that PSB channels deliver “broadcast events that bring the nation together for a shared viewing experience”, with England’s quarter-final in the Fifa World Cup, the State Funeral of the Queen and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in the top three spots on the 2022 UK’s most-watched programmes.
Similarly, PSB’s video-on-demand services BBC iPlayer and ITVX continued to grow.
Another notable shift in the broadcast TV landscape according to the Ofcom Media Nations 2023 report, is a steep decline in the number of programmes attracting “mass audiences”.
The number of shows with over four million TV viewers has more than halved over the past eight years since 2022, which reflects fewer people tuning in to watch early and late evening TV news bulletins as well as a steady decline in viewing figures for the three most popular soaps, Coronation Street, EastEnders and Emmerdale, Ofcom said.
The research suggests just 48 programmes averaged more than four million TV viewers on streaming platforms in 2022, with “Netflix accounting for the vast majority”, the report said.
Ofcom’s research also suggests there is a significant decline in average broadcast TV viewing among the “core” older audiences aged 65+, as they become more likely to take up streaming services.